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ArtCraft Entertainment forms new division to create new MMO tech

Wizard101 developer Josef Hall will lead creation of Artisan Engine

Austin-based indie development studio ArtCraft Entertainment has formed a new division focused on MMO tech. The ArtCraft Technologies division will work on a new MMO game engine intended to lower both monetary and time costs of MMO development.

The Artisan Engine will be based on the engine behind the studio's first game, Crowfall. The studio hopes it will appeal to developers looking to make large-scale MMOs.

"Essentially, the Artisan Engine provides all the interlocking systems that make a virtual world tick," said ArtCraft president Gordon Walton. "Online game budgets have skyrocketed, with development teams of 100+ and schedules that stretch up to seven years. A significant portion of that time is spent reinventing the wheel. We can shortcut that effort."

Heading up ArtCraft Technologies is Josef Hall, who joins the company after 13 years of experience in multiple roles at KingsIsle Entertainment, most recently as VP and creative director. There, Hall co-created both Wizard101 and Pirate 101, and brings years of work on MMOs to this new technology division.

"What ACE has built is impressive. This is a unique opportunity," said Hall. "While there are a handful of commercial rendering engines available to developers, there are no fully-featured solutions to jumpstart a virtual world. The time and cost benefit for an MMO (and for other mediums, like VR and MR) is absolutely staggering."

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Rebekah Valentine

Senior Staff Writer

Rebekah arrived at GamesIndustry in 2018 after four years of freelance writing and editing across multiple gaming and tech sites. When she's not recreating video game foods in a real life kitchen, she's happily imagining herself as an Animal Crossing character.